All kids have that one ‘it’ toy on their list to Santa. Whether it’s a Red Ryder BB gun or an Atari 2600, getting that special toy was a feeling like no other! Parents would get arrested and shame their own families to get these toys for their kids, and it was worth every bruise they got! Many are highly sought after collectibles. Others, not so much. Here are our picks for some of the coolest toys we ever got:
1. Stretch Armstrong
The latex man filled with corn-syrup provided hours upon hours of stretchy fun. Contort his body any way you wanted. How far could you stretch his arms and legs before he would snap? Most of them eventually met their demise and ended up in some landfill, where they’re still decomposing to this very day.
2. Shrinky Dinks
Shrinky Dinks were pretty magical as a kid. You could color them, and then when you baked them in the oven, they would magically shrink to one-third their size! Of course, many of them became fertilizer after the dog ate them.
3. Star Wars Action Figures
Star Wars is one of the most successful and iconic movies ever made. Boys and girls alike collected the action figures and stored them in a carrying case shaped like Darth Vader’s head! Sadly, many of these toys’ heads and arms were forever lost inside of couches all across the country. Original ones, however, are highly collectible and worth some dough.
4. Atari 2600
This is one of the toys I couldn’t wait to get as a kid — video gaming at its finest with awesome graphics (at least they were for the time). Some of our favorite games were Pac-Man, Frogger, Pitfall, and Space Invaders. The one-stick controller had us playing for hours. This system is highly sought after as a vintage collectible.
5. Rubik’s Cube
The 3-D color-coded puzzle stumped millions of kids (including myself) for years while becoming a household name in the ’80s.
6. Cabbage Patch Kids
What girl didn’t want a creepy doll that grew out of a patch of cabbage? Parents went stark raving mad, beating each other up in toy stores all over the country just to get a doll for their child to adopt as her very own. I still have mine packed away for safekeeping!
How cool is the concept of alien machines that assumed the identities of automobiles? In the cartoon series, the Autobots had names like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and they fought the evil Decepticons. Originally a Japanese toy, they had their American debut in 1984. Boys went crazy for these toys, and they stood the test of time. They can be found in stores today for the next generation to enjoy. Truly more than meets the eye!
8. Teddy Ruxpin
Teddy Ruxpin scared me to death when I was a kid. They marketed it as a lovable teddy bear that would read you bedtime stories. Really, it was a doll that would surely come to life and creep into your room at night to kill you! Nevertheless, World of Wonder hit a homerun with this one!
9. Tickle Me Elmo
Tickle Me Elmo was another in-demand toy that caused parents to break out into fisticuffs, making them look like deranged lunatics. The red ball of love would laugh when a child tickled his tummy. This “it” toy annoyed parents all over the country, and his whereabouts are still “unknown” in many households.
This was a keychain-sized digital simulation game. You had a pet that would go through several stages of growth, and it would change depending on how well you took care of it. Your animal friend would tell you when it was hungry and tired, and if you didn’t feed it or take care of it properly, it would die. Way to teach us about responsibility by scaring the crap out of us! You can find some of the original ones on eBay because they are now highly collectible.
What ‘it’ toy do you remember the most? Let us know in the comments section!